April 30 (UPI) — The first 100 days of a U.S. presidency is viewed as a benchmark for assessing the early days of the administration, an indicator of how the following four years will go.
For many new presidents, especially those representing a different party than the previous administration, many of the early days are spent reversing old policies and installing new staff members, advisers and Cabinet officials.
For President Joe Biden, those efforts have been compounded by the biggest public health crisis the United States has seen in a century.
The president and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Georgia on Thursday to mark the 100th day in office. They were scheduled to arrive early in the afternoon and first visit with former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter in Plains, Ga.
The Bidens will attend a drive-in car rally in Duluth, Ga., near Atlanta, about 6 p.m. EDT, at which the president will highlight how he’s delivered on promises to the American people, the White House said.
By the numbers, Biden has signed 11 bills into law in his first 100 days, less than half that of his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, and three fewer than former President Barack Obama. He’s also signed 42 executive orders, more than any other president since former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who implemented 99.
According to NPR, Biden also reversed 62 Trump administration policies and executive actions and made 11 judicial nominations.
And as of Tuesday, Biden had a 53.1% job approval rating in a RealClear Politics average of polls.
In his first 100 days, Biden’s worked to fulfill his pledges on:
COVID-19 relief bill
Biden’s first major legislative proposal to be passed by Congress was a $1.9 trillion stimulus package. The American Rescue Plan, which Biden signed on March 11, was the fifth major COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress since the start of the pandemic last year.
It provided $411 billion in direct stimulus payments to Americans, $362 billion in direct aid to state and local governments, $203 billion in expanded unemployment compensation, $170 billion for education, $174 billion for public health spending and $59 billion in support for small businesses, among other measures.
Tens of millions of Americans received stimulus payments of up to $1,400, as well as another $1,400 for each qualified child. It was the third round of direct payments made since March 2020.
“This historic legislation is about rebuilding the backbone of this country, and giving people in this nation — working people, middle-class folks, a people who built the country — a fighting chance,” Biden said at the signing ceremony.
In another effort to manage the novel coronavirus crisis, Biden pledged when he took office that the United States would administer 100 million doses of vaccine by his 100th day in office.
The United States reached that figure ahead of schedule — March 19 — prompting Biden to raise the goal to 200 million. As of Wednesday night, the United States had administered about 235 million doses of the three available vaccines, reaching partial vaccination for 143 million people and full vaccination for 98 million, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures.
Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has said the Biden administration’s goal is to vaccinate between 230 million and 280 million people to achieve herd immunity — which he said would be more than 70% of the U.S. population.
Returning to world stage
Hours after he was inaugurated as the 46th U.S. president, Biden sat down in the Oval Office and signed 17 orders immediately reversing Trump-era policies.
Among them were orders returning the United States to the World Health Organization and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Trump pulled out of both, blaming the WHO for not doing enough to indict China for its role in the COVID-19 crisis and saying the climate accord was unfair to the American people.
Since his first day in office, the Biden administration has also participated in talks with Iran in an effort to rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, lifting sanctions in exchange for Iran limiting nuclear development.
The efforts make good on Biden’s Inauguration Day promise to “repair our alliances and engage with the world once again.”
Of the Trump-era policies the Biden administration has perhaps worked hardest to roll back is the hard-line stance on immigration.
On his first day in office, he signed executive orders halting construction of Trump’s wall on the Mexico border by terminating the national emergency declaration at the border and overturning the so-called “Muslim ban.” Trump had declared the emergency as a way to bypass Congress to fund the wall.
Biden also created a task force to handle the reunification of child migrants separated from their families under the Trump administration, and tasked Vice President Kamala Harris with overseeing the administration’s immigration efforts.
But with the quick rollback of policies, there’s been an influx of arrivals at the southern border, overwhelming the government’s ability to process and house unaccompanied minors in particular.
This has prompted the Department of Health and Human Services to ask the Pentagon for space at military bases to house the young immigrants as the government works to connect them with family or guardians in the United States.
Biden, meanwhile, has released proposals on policy issues he’d like to tackle going forward.
Earlier this month he unveiled a $2.2 trillion infrastructure package that he said will target bridges, roads, public transportation, broadband Internet access, schools, housing, job training and care for the elderly and disabled.
Biden’s $1.8 trillion American Families Plan, which he expanded on in his first address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, aims to invest in families, children, education and medical leave.
He’s also expected to sign an executive order next week requiring federal agencies to pay contract workers a minimum wage of $15 per hour.